Date: Sunday, September 13, 2015
Time: 2:45pm ET/ 20:45 CET
Venue: Stadio Giuseppe Meazza; Milan, Italy
The international break is finally over and Serie A has begun once again. After taking maximum points from their first two matches Inter face their city rivals AC Milan in the Derby della Madonnina. It's a match-up that all eyes in Serie A will be watching, because finally it looks like both Milan sides have begun to buckle down and do what is necessary to challenge at the top of the table once again.
After disappointing finishes for both teams last season, each club decided it was time to make a splash in the transfer market and invest heavily in new players. Milan invested mainly in their attack, bringing in Carlos Bacca, Luiz Adriano, and San Siro regular Mario Balotelli; while they also brought in a few new faces in the midfield and defense. Inter ended the transfer market with ten new players, giving Mancini the reinforcements he needed to strengthen all necessary areas of the pitch (which was basically every position besides goalkeeper).
A number of those new signings have already made an impact at Inter. Stevan Jovetic has scored three goals in the first two matches to lead Inter to victory, while the new defensive partnership of Miranda and Murillo have kept clean sheets in both of those games. Unfortunately Miranda was injured during the international break so he probably will miss this game. On the brighter side Mauro Icardi will most likely return to the starting lineup after his injury. Telles, Ljajic, and Perisic have all spoke about their excitement of joining Inter and how badly they want to start the Derby so we will have to see how many of the new signings Mancini starts in this match.
Though Inter come into this match higher in the table than Milan, anything can happen in the Derby della Madonnina. Mancini has talked about needed to get a positive result in this game in order to get some real momentum going and he is right. It is one thing to win against Atalanta and Carpi, it is another thing to win against a new and improved Milan side. This is going to be Mancini's first real test to see if Inter really is back this season. I'm excited, this is a game that Inter can win if the players perform to the levels expected of them. In the first two games of the season they have shown flashes of that potential but now that transfer market is over and Mancini has had time to train with them, it's time to see what this team really is capable of. Now all we can do is sit back and wait for the fun to begin.
Inter: Handanovic; Santon, Medel, Murillo, Juan Jesus; Guarin, Felipe Melo, Kondogbia; Perisic, Icardi, Jovetic.
AC Milan: Diego Lopez; Abate, Zapata, Romagnoli, De Sciglio; Kucka, Montolivo, Bonaventura; Honda; Luiz Adriano, Bacca.